An Analysis on Frederick Douglass's "A Narrative on the Life of Frederick Douglass"
Slavery; the Evil of Man Time after time in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the author shows horrific and grotesque experiences that Frederick Douglass went through in his time as a slave. In his book, Douglass reveals to a Christian audience the evil corruption of slavery upon a Godly society. Douglass shows how slavery turns people who are good and kind, into things of pure evil. Douglass shows in his book how slavery is corrupting and changes people, and he shows this through Master Hugh’s wife, Mrs. Auld. Mrs. Auld was a woman who “never had a slave under her control previously to [Douglass],” and “[Douglass] was utterly astonished at her goodness.”(Douglass 19) Douglass shows how she was pure and had a good heart that was in the right place and Douglass compares her to an angel, but the “fatal poison” of slavery was “in her hands,” and she soon her “cheerful eye” because of the “influence of slavery, soon became red with rage” and her “angelic face gave place to that of a demon.”(Douglass 19) Change was inevitable because of her need to conform to the way people treated slaves. According to her husband the way she treated slaves was “unlawful and unsafe,” (Douglass 20) and she needed to treat them like others treat slaves, which she did. She went against her beliefs, and “[conformed] to the patterns of [the] world” (Niv Bible, Rom. 12:2) and treated slaves like dirt. She was transformed into something different once she tasted of that poisoned apple that is slavery, and turned from who she was, a good person, into some new creation of evil, a demon and a devil, which is the image of pure evil and trickery. Douglass shows how the power of slavery spoils people of religion. Douglass shows how when the “fatal poison” (Douglass 19) of slavery, which is caused by “irresponsible power” (Douglass 19), is put into the hands of religious people, they change for the worse. One example Douglass uses is Mr. Covey. Mr. Covey
Cited: Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1995. 76. Print.
Lisa Margaret Zeitz, ‘‘Biblical Allusion and Imagery in Frederick Douglass ' Narrative,’’ CLA Journal, Vol. XXV, No. 1, September 1981, pp. 56-64.
The Holy Bible. New International Version. Colorado Springs: Biblica, 2011.